By Polly Keary, Editor
Main Street last week was home to three new businesses; two open for about a week and one to open later this month.
Here’s who’s new on Main, and what to find there.
Orange and black dominate as a color theme in the new RD Sportswear at 115 W. Main, once the home of the Monroe Monitor and still bedecked with its historic sign.
That is because most of the merchandise on the racks inside the store are emblazoned with the Monroe Bearcats logo and colors.
The store, which opened a week ago Tuesday, is owned by two high school coaches, Ryan Willmaser, who coaches football and wrestling, and Jake Herigstad, who coaches football.
There are t-shirts, hats, duffle bags, letterman jackets and more, all with Bearcats insignia, and the owners plan to do trophies, awards and custom jackets, as well.
Across the street and up a block, at 116 E. Main, a new sign tops an old tavern. What once was the Chopping Block Tavern is now The Paradise, and it opened a week ago Saturday with an all-new interior.
The historic 1950s-era wooden bar remains, but the rest of the pub has been redecorated with a Victorian gentleman’s-club feel, including dark red walls, dark stained-wood floor, black quilted leather upholstery, gold accents, ornate lamps and pool tables refinished with red baize.
One wall is decorated with a vintage Schwinn bike, and it faces onto a large and fairly sophisticated new stage, complete with inset floor lights and a new sound system. Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week the pub will have karaoke, and Saturday nights will be given to live music.
The bar is a family business, purchased by Jim Sofie, who owns Don’s Barbershop next door. Among the staff are his daughter and son-in-law, and when Sofie is done cutting hair for the day, he, too, comes over and helps out behind the bar.
The kitchen, too, got a complete overhaul, which delighted long-time restaurant cook Robert Cross, who got to help set it up.
“I’ve never had a brand-new kitchen before,” he said.
He’ll prepare steaks, sandwiches, burgers and appetizers there from a new menu.
The tavern plans to hold a grand opening celebration soon.
Players Music Mart
In the building formerly occupied by consignment chop Cinderella’s Closet, racks of guitar strings and sheet music are already half-stocked. It’s Player’s Music Mart, owned by business partners Rick Whitney and Randy Oesch, and it’s slated to open by mid-August.
“The town needs a music store,” said Whitney, who once owned Red Apple Music in Sultan, as well as the Pastime Tavern there. “We are trying to modernize the building a little and make it a little more fun, and sell new and used equipment, and do some recording in the back.”
The building has certainly gotten a new look inside, with corrugated metal paneling, new lighting and a large glass window looking into what will be a control room for a small recording studio.
Further in back is a space for music lessons and a small parents’ lounge where moms and dads can wait for their kids to complete instruction.
Whitney said that the store will offer some equipment for high school band instruments such as reeds and drumsticks, and he thinks the store might eventually sell orchestral instruments for high school students. But for now, he’s planning to start out with reasonably priced electric instruments and paraphernalia, and he hopes to carry music and merchandise such as t-shirts from local bands.
“We’re going to grow into the community,” Whitney said.